Thursday, 28 March 2013

Men's style classics: twist or traditional?

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These days it seems like every fashion designer and his dog is claiming to be creating traditionally-inspired pieces with something about them that makes them new and exciting.
These days it seems like every fashion designer and his dog is claiming to be creating traditionally-inspired pieces with something about them that makes them new and exciting. But when did every classic start needing to be tweaked and changed? Are there some items that hit the spot so well, all those style gurus should just back off? I took a trip into the imaginary wardrobe of SS13 to weigh up some of the latest twists and transformations felt by the season's style staples.

The suit

Louis Vuitton makes the suit not only summer-appropriate attire but gives it an unexpected casual kick. Worn with relaxed linen shirts and loosely-tied neckscarves in the fashion house's SS13 lookbook, these lightly-coloured versions take our opinion of the suit to a whole new, sunnier place. But does it belong? There's a lot to be said for sticking to the classic black trousers and blazer/white shirt look - as Gerard Butler, Anderson Cooper and Jake Abel revealed in GQ Magazine's Most Stylish Men of the Week feature. In my opinion, the style-savvy man wouldn't be scared to diversify when it comes to the suit - after all, the more opportunities to get your money's worth from this notoriously big investment, the better - and would instead embrace a way to dress it down to make it more smart/casual-friendly. However, the classic dark suit is never going to be daywear, and you can't make any suit such without losing the imposing sense of authority it brings to those important occasions. Perhaps get the surprise smart element in your summertime daywear from a tailored blazer worn with chinos or straight-leg shorts instead.

The bomber jacket

This is one trend that will have crept out of our childhood while we weren't looking, only to leave us wondering how we ever forgot about it in the first place. The bomber has enjoyed many heydays, from being worn by the likes of James Dean in the 1950s to becoming a staple of trashy-cool 80s' style, and it's well and truly back for 2013. But while it is still recognisable as a bomber jacket, designers seem to have done everything in their power to transform it into something entirely new. They've adorned it with paisley print, they've made it camo, they've given it sleeves in a contrasting fabric, but have they made it better? I say yes. The modern man needs to embrace the new ways of the bomber jacket in order for it to work - it's all too easy to look like you're wearing one that's been around too long. The likes of Kenzo, Louis Vuitton, Burberry Prorsum and Givenchy - whose takes on the classic can be seen here - they can't all be wrong, can they?

The polo shirt

This is one item that isn't just sitting on the sartorial fence of classic and new; it's in both gardens at once, mowing the lawn and drinking a Martini. Its classic incarnation does favours for men's fashion that no other single item can - bridging the gap between smart and casual by affording a tailored yet easy-going look. In its modern embodiment, the polo shirt takes on eye-popping colours, ultra-cool logos and - as you'll see from Hackett's collection here - even floral prints, making it the perfect way to wear a trend and feel completely comfortable doing so.

This is a partnered post on behalf of Hacket London

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